During the week of June 16, Councilman Curren Price led efforts on ways to reform the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as he introduced a collection of motions and resolutions, which focused on re-imagining how police interact with the communities they serve.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved a motion, which was co-presented by Councilmember Price, that directed the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst, with help from the Mayor, to identify ways to cut $100 to $150 million from the LAPD’s budget for the new fiscal year starting on July 1. The money would be reallocated to underrepresented communities and communities of color within the City of Los Angeles. Read the full motion here
Additionally, Councilman Price co-presented a motion with six other Councilmembers that requests for the development of an unarmed model of crisis response that would divert non-violent calls for service, which includes calls related to mental health, substance abuse, and neighbor disputes, away from the LAPD to the appropriate non-law enforcement agencies. This proposed model is based off of the CAHOOTS program in Eugene, Oregon. Read the full motion here
Further, Councilman Price co-presented a motion instructing the LAPD to report its use of COMPSTAT – a tracking tool that gathers information of crime trends across the City. This motion is significant because there have been critics that claim the use of COMPSTAT promotes biased policing by rewarding officers for meeting enforcement quotas. The motion calls for looking into ways that COMPSTAT can be updated to ensure that it is being used to promote public safety while also ensuring equitable treatment, accountability, transparency, and community trust. Read the full motion here
Additionally, Councilman Price co-introduced a motion that requests information on how the LAPD will handle reports of misconduct by officers at the recent protests that called for justice for George Floyd who was killed by police in Minneapolis at the end of May. There have been numerous reports that many peaceful protesters were injured by tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and other “less lethal” devices. The motion calls for LAPD to explain what disciplinary actions will be used against officers who were found to have used excessive force. Read the full motion here
Councilmember Price along with Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson introduced a motion instructing the LAPD to report on the resources needed to expand the Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit (MEU) and its System wide Mental Assessment Response Teams (SMART) in order to ensure officers can call these units when dealing with individuals with mental health issues. The motion is significant because there have been times where these resources are unavailable to officers in these situations. Read the full motion here
Councilmember Price introduced a resolution in support of AB 1196 (Gipson), which would make it illegal for any law enforcement officer within California to use a Carotid hold when subduing a suspect. This was the method officers used when interacting with George Floyd, who died as a result of this maneuver. Currently, the LAPD bans the use of this method; however it is important for this measure to be in place statewide. Read the full resolution here
On Wednesday, Councilmember Price introduced two motions related to further reform related to the LAPD. In one motion, Councilmember Price requested for the LAPD, with assistance from the Personnel Department, to report on its efforts to diversify its sworn workforce, especially with respect to African American officers. In addition, the motion requests the LAPD to report on ways to ensure that its recruitment initiatives target local residents, and the feasibility of implementing preferential hiring status for graduates of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Read the full motion here
Councilman Price also introduced a motion that would make it illegal to use the 911 emergency system to file a report, or cause a report to be made to law enforcement agencies, that an “emergency or threat” exists when the call is based on racial bias, and the caller knows that the report is false or frivolous. While it is illegal to make a false 911 report, the current law does not address 911 calls used in a racially motivated way. The motion asks for the City Attorney and the LAPD to report back on options to prevent the reporting of false accusations based on racially-biased complaints. Options include criminal penalties, as well as giving the victims the right to bring private civil actions against the perpetrator. Read the full motion here
On Sunday, June 14, Councilman Curren Price joined thousands of demonstrators in the heart of Hollywood for a peaceful protest in honor of the message "All Black Lives Matter," in an act of unity to condemn racism and support LGBTQ rights.
“Looking out into a sea of people joined together in a common thread of inclusion gave me hope in the direction we are going as a people,” said Councilman Price. “Every person has the right to live their truth and I stand as an ally in the name of respect, equality, acceptance and love.”
On Friday, June 12, seniors from John C. Fremont High School ended the school year and celebrated their rite of passage at the first ever “Grad and Go” graduation ceremony.
Students were able to drive onto campus along with their families, friends and in some cases pets to receive well wishes from their teachers and obtain their diplomas from Principal Blanca Esquivel along with a special certificate from Councilman Curren Price.
“This has been a challenging time for schools, administrative staff, teachers and students but they have adapted well and have found creative ways to celebrate this important milestone in the students' lives,” said Councilman Price. “Although the school year is ending, the memories of what they did to make it to this day will forever be remembered.”
On Friday, June 12, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) released the 2019-2020 point-in-time count for the number of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. The numbers reveal a 14 percent increase of Angelenos that have fallen into homelessness bringing the total to 41,290 individuals.
The recent data shows an increase across the board in all categories, including families, seniors, veterans and youth. The causation is a direct result of housing affordability in Los Angeles as there are simply not enough affordable housing units available to meet the demands of the City. With over 550,000 rent burdened households in the Los Angeles region, nearly the same amount of units need to be created to satisfy the need.
In addition to LA’s inadequate housing supply, systemic racism and income inequality are drivers of homelessness showing that although 8 percent of the overall population in Los Angeles County is Black, they account for more than 34 percent of those experiencing homelessness.
“Homelessness is something that plagues our Black communities; these are not just numbers, these are people, these are members of our community who have fallen on hard times in an inflated market,” said Councilman Curren Price. “In District 9, I am pleased that we are on track to add more than 1,200 units of affordable housing and 814 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), but we need more creative solutions such as ‘A Bridge Home’ and ‘Project Roomkey’ going forward to house more people and win the battle.”
Earlier this year, Councilman Price championed the construction of the first “A Bridge Home” project in District 9 called “Bringing Hope to Hope Street,” which can house up to 100 homeless men and women from the community and help them transition into a stable home. Due to COVID-19, the shelter is working at a reduced capacity to maintain social distancing protocols. Two additional homeless shelters are planned for CD 9.
The COVID-19 Recovery Plan, which includes “Project Roomkey,” a program initiated by Gov. Gavin Newsom, places the most vulnerable population into hotel rooms. The program has allowed LAHSA to shelter over 4,000 people through Project Roomkey in the three months since the “Stay at Home'' order was implemented in March 2020. Currently, there is one “Project Roomkey” facility in District 9.
On Wednesday, June 10, Councilmembers Curren Price and David Ryu co-presented a motion demanding an investigation of the tactics the LAPD used during what began as a peaceful protest on Saturday, May 30 near Pan Pacific Park and the Fairfax District.
“The disturbing images and videos of peaceful protesters being brutalized by members of the LAPD demands swift action and a comprehensive review of the excessive force used against Angelenos who were simply utilizing their constitutional right to demonstrate,” said Councilmember Price. “While this is but one specific instance, it reveals a clear need to reassess current departmental protocols for crowd control and de-escalation. The use of rubber bullets, tear gas and batons against demonstrators while dispersing the crowds not only exhibit actions that were aggressive but potentially lethal and requires answers.”
The motion asks for an in depth review and explanation of crowd control strategies and use of force tactics at the May 30 demonstration from the LAPD, the independent Office of the Inspector General, and the Department of Civil and Human Rights. The motion also seeks independent investigations of the use of less-than-lethal weapons, complaints filed against LAPD for use of excessive force in dispersing peaceful demonstrators, as well as claims of LAPD not intervening against acts of arson, looting and vandalism.
Also on June 10, the LAPD announced that they have launched their own independent investigation into the allegations of misconduct and have assigned 40 investigators looking at 56 complaint investigations, with 28 involving alleged uses of force. At this time, seven officers have been assigned to non-field duties.
For complaints related to the protests, email ProtestResponse2020@lapd.online. Individuals can also make a complaint through the Office of the Inspector General at (213) 893 6400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Any person who believes they were wrongfully accused of a crime, unjustly injured, or experienced misconduct on the part of an officer can make a complaint with the Department's Internal Affairs Group hotline at (800) 339-6868.
During the week of June 8, the Office of Councilmember Curren Price joined forces with the Los Angeles Fire Department and Central Neighborhood Health Foundation (CNHF) in District 9 to bring COVID-19 testing to Figueroa Senior Housing. The latest effort is part of Councilmember Price's ongoing commitment to organize pop-up community COVID-19 testing events in his District.
Councilmember Price is on a mission to increase coronavirus testing access to all the senior residential facilities in the District, with the overall goal to have 90 people of residents districtwide tested.
“I want to make sure we do everything we can to protect those populations who are most vulnerable to the virus, which includes our elderly community,” added Councilman Price. Click on the photo below to view the video of the launch of Councilman Price’s campaign to keep our seniors healthy and the South LA community safe.
District 9 is about to get more clean and green! Approximately 30 Bigbelly smart waste containers were installed during the week of June 8 along major corridors in the District, including Manchester Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Figueroa Street.
Since taking office in 2013, Price has worked tirelessly to uplift the District as part of his “Clean & Green” initiative—orchestrating hundreds of community clean-ups and directing resources to remove trash, bulky items and illegally dumped items from alleys and neighborhood streets.
The Bigbelly stations contain a built-in compactor, which increases waste volume and improves operational efficiencies. The “smart” system and its cloud-connected communication informs waste collection operators when the units need emptying.
“South LA children, families and seniors deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment,” Councilmember Price said. “Over the years, we have made important strides and we look forward to doing more to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. The new Bigbelly stations will have a positive impact on our daily lives and throughout our community.”
On Saturday, June 6, Councilman Curren Price joined thousands of demonstrators at Leimert Park for a peaceful protest in honor of George Floyd and the many Black lives lost in police encounters and other racial violence.
“There was an air of solemness and comfort throughout the crowd,” said Councilman Price. “I stood side by side with LAPD Chief Michel Moore in solidarity for the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that represented the length of time the knee of disgraced Officer Derek Chauvin was on George Floyd’s neck. It was a heart wrenching moment, painful to think of how he and so many others have been murdered for no other reason but for the color of our skin.”
From the LGBTQ African American woman to the Latina mother with her son, college educated millennials and law enforcement across the ranks, the wave of protests held in Los Angeles and around the world have been filled with people from all sides of the globe demanding complete equality, inclusion and justice for all.
“There is a lot of work that needs to be done, souls need to be healed and promises need to be kept,” added Price. “We must seize this opportunity to advance our society into a more tolerant and balanced system; it is our duty to do right by our neighbors, not turn our backs on each other, and march forward toward progress.”
The Office of Councilmember Curren Price would like to congratulate the graduates of the Class of 2020. Having to overcome tremendous adversity, hardships and challenges, your accomplishments will be cemented in history as the class that could do anything they put their minds (and hearts) to.
As you get ready to end the school year with virtual culminations, festive parades and family celebrations, remember the lessons you have learned inside and outside of the classroom.
“Graduates, you represent the new generation of South LA filled with much promise,” said Councilmember Price. “In a time when the world stopped, you kept going. Your determination, adaptability and focus led you to this milestone. You proved that nothing, not even a global pandemic, could stop you. Harness the power of this moment and let it catapult you toward your dreams and aspirations."
***Click on the image above to see a special message from Councilmember Price to District 9 graduates and their families.
Warmest congratulations to some of the local Valedictorians and Salutatorians below. Best wishes for your next adventure and make CD 9 proud.
On Thursday, June 4, Councilman Curren Price led a virtual discussion with eight young people from the South Los Angeles community in a conversation titled "Protest and Unrest," tackling the truth surrounding systemic racism and police brutality that plagues communities of color.
Among the questions the next generation of leaders asked were: "Why do you personally think this generation of youth decided to fight back as hard as we have?" and "Do you see any differences from the race riots back in the '60s compared to now?"